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peer-reviewed research article

Is lead toxicity still a risk to U.S. children?


Karrie Heneman
Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, Department of Nutrition, UC Davis

publication information

California Agriculture 60(4):180-184. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v060n04p180. October-December 2006.

NALT Keywords

children, lead poisoning, risk groups, United States


Elevated blood-lead levels put children at risk for neurobehavioral-cognitive deficits, such as IQ deficiency, behavioral disorders and impaired hearing. We examined several factors that contribute to elevated lead levels in U.S. children to help define the extent to which lead toxicity from these sources continues to be a problem. The results of our review suggest that elevated levels of lead in paint, dust, soil, imported pottery and ceramic ware, ethnic remedies, and some imported candies continue to be areas of concern, while typical levels in food products appear to be acceptable. It is important to continue monitoring lead levels in children as well as in environmental and food sources.


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